Priorities Matter: Commit to It and It Will Come

Today I want to tell you a story.

The setting: a baseball diamond in Marshall, Michigan. The regional championship game between my grandfather’s team, the Grossi Nationals, and a rival team from Ypsilanti.  The winning team would advance to the prestigious Connie Mack World Series in Farmington, New Mexico. The stakes were high.

At 13 years old, I was too young to play. But I was part of the team as bat boy, so I saw everything that unfolded up close and personal.

At the bottom of the seventh, we were winning by one run. Two outs, runners on second and third. Our pitcher, Jim Abbott, just needed one more strike. He threw the ball and the batter got a base hit. We lost the game.

But that wasn’t what stuck in my mind. It’s not nice to lose, but it’s a part of sports. What stuck in my mind was the way the rival team acted after their victory. They had been cocky and arrogant since they arrived, and it only got worse after they won. They ran onto the field, knocking our players and fans over and giving us the bird. It was so unsportsmanlike, it was hard to believe. It took 15 minutes for everything to calm down.

It flipped a switch inside me. I knew I had to play on my grandfather’s team. I knew I had to beat this team from Ypsilanti and put them in their place. I told their coach as much. He just looked at me, a 13-year-old kid, and laughed it off.

For the next five years, I visualized what it would look like to play on my grandfather’s team and beat those guys from Ypsilanti. I imagined how I would feel when the victory finally came. I did this every day and at every practice. I played it over and over in my head like a tape on a loop. I could feel it. I could taste it. I had that moment in mind, and it held onto me.

To say I was committed is an understatement.

The day came. I was pitching in the regional tournament against – that’s right – Ypsilanti. They had to win two games to keep us from the championship. In our first game, we were down eight runs at the top of the third. Of course, I always wanted to do my best in every game, but this game was different. I had something to prove. This time, it was personal.

And I pitched like I never had before. I ended up pitching a no-hitter for the rest of the game. We beat Ypsilanti! We were headed to the Connie Mack World Series.

What I visualized came true. All that time, all that energy, directed on this one outcome, and it all came to fruition. That’s what the power of commitment can do to help you achieve your dreams. Not interest. Interest is something that keeps you going until things get tough or boring. But commitment. Commitment is what sees you through the dark times because you know that the end result is worth striving for.

At the end of the game, I went up to the coach of the losing team. It was the same one I talked to five years ago. I asked him if he remembered me. “You’re that bat boy,” he said, incredulously. “Yes,” I grinned, “I am.”


Determine Your Destiny (Finding the Answer to That Question, “Where Do You See Yourself in 10 Years?”)

It’s a classic interview question: “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” Your answer will supposedly tell the interviewer whether you’re a good fit for the role in question. Job applicants often prepare a canned answer to this question that makes them look good. 

Canned answers aside, have you asked yourself this question recently? Really dwell on it for a moment. Ten years from now, will you be where you are today? Or will you be closer to achieving your dreams?


Destiny is Not Heredity

I believe that we each have immense power to determine our own destiny. If we can dream it and work hard toward that dream, then we can do it. Many people share this belief.

However, some people don’t believe they have the power to determine their own destiny. They make excuses instead of taking action, and they blame others when things don’t go their way. With this attitude, they will forever be reactive, rather than proactive.

If you’re one of these people, then I have great news for you. You can change your worldview. You are the only one who can determine your destiny. You are the author of your story.


Destiny = Belief + Action

Belief is a part of destiny – a big one – but it’s just one component. The other vital component is action.

An action doesn’t have to be massive to make a profound difference. Think of the power of a seed. From such a tiny, seemingly insignificant thing, a towering tree can grow. It just takes the action of planting the seed and the belief that it will sprout. 

Plant seeds of greatness in your own life. Do something to move toward your dreams and believe that they’ll come to fruition. The universe rewards people who take action and have faith.


Make a Difference

The universe also rewards people who make a difference. Your destiny doesn’t just involve you, it involves your family, the people who care about you, the people you work with, the people in your town. Your destiny touches others’ lives in ways you can’t even see.

Don’t just focus on yourself and your needs all the time, but look outward and around you. How can you help others? What can you do in your community? How can you impact the world?


Where You’ll Be in Ten Years

It can be scary to take control of your destiny, believing that you are solely in charge of your life. You can no longer hide behind excuses or blame anyone else. You need to be prepared to take responsibility for your failures as well as credit for your successes. You have to take action and have faith that your seeds will eventually bear fruit. Only when you do this, can you take control of your destiny. Only then will you know exactly how to answer the question “Where do you see yourself in ten years?”